Alumni Spotlight - Dr. Scott Acton

Alumni Spotlight – Dr. Scott Acton

Headshot of Dr. Scott Acton CWC Alumn

Dr. Scott Acton graduated from Riverton High School in 1979 and attended CWC during the 1979-1980 academic year, majoring in Physics. Scott transferred to the University of Wyoming for a semester, and then to Abilene Christian University, returning at one point to pick up a third semester at CWC because of affordability.

Scott has spent much of his career developing the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), as the Wavefront Sensing and Controls Scientist with Ball Aerospace. JWST’s first images were released in July 2022, and it is NASA’s largest and most powerful space science telescope ever constructed.

The JWST is huge, so large that it would never fit inside a launch vehicle, necessitating a telescope that folds up. After launch, the telescope unfolds itself, and Dr. Acton led the team that put it back together – by remote control – to become a functioning telescope.

Scott remembers the high level of individual attention given to him by all of his professors at CWC and shared, “The most difficult challenges facing students are often not academic. The option of starting college closer to home, with a smaller student body, and less of a financial burden was very beneficial to me.”